Cultural Desire

Topics: Health care, Health care provider, African American Pages: 3 (1009 words) Published: July 1, 2006
Cultural Desire Essay

Cultural Desire Essay
Realization. This is what I learned from the readings. The realization that I am not as culturally aware as I thought. I have always considered myself to be a good nurse. I try to be very thoughtful and caring with my patients. I smile as I interview them, place my hand on their arm or shoulder, and try to find a common ground. This is because as an operating room nurse we don't get long to connect with our patients before they are off to sleep. Working in central and eastern Kentucky and also growing up here, most of my patients are what I call "Appalachian Americans". As a result of my readings I realized that when I do have patients from different backgrounds such as Latino's, Asian, etc. I am more distant from them than if they were from Kentucky. Maybe I do this because I do not know their culture. They may not like the close contact I am used to providing my patients. I suppose it is a good thing that I do not assume that they would appreciate that kind of care, but I could provide better care to those patients who are culturally diverse if I had more information. I chose to read Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". This is Maya's personal story of growing up a black female in the American South during the 1930s and 40s. I believe that I have a fair understanding of the African American culture. Although I did not grow up around many African Americans, I have had many black patients and co-workers. Most of my black patients have the same cultural standards as I do. Growing up in the south in the 30s and 40s Maya Angelou faced some deep seated racism. There is no doubt that racism still exists today, but is nothing like it was when Maya was growing up. I suppose one thing that I was not aware of was that black women seek preventive care just as much as, sometimes more than Caucasians (Sambamoorthi & McAlpine, 2003, 482). I am not sure why, but I have always thought African Americans to be...

References: Angelou, M. (1969). I know why the caged bird sings. New York: Random House.
Sambamoorthi, U., & McAlpine, D. D. (2003). Racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and access disparities in the use of preventive services among women. Preventive Medicine, 37, 475-484.
Spector, R. E. (1979). Cultural diversity in health and illness. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
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